For over 25 years this day, for me, was a strange day; a day of exhilaration and depression, happiness and sadness, satisfaction and disappointment. Not from me, but from the students who turned up every year at my school to receive their GCSE results. We had the usual scenario of students opening their results, screaming, crying, and hugging everyone in sight. We also had students who quickly picked up their results and walked away shamefaced, because they knew that they’d wasted the opportunities they had, and their results were poor.
Whichever extreme of emotion these students faced was down to them. Whatever their ability, students who worked hard to gain the results they achieved were happy. Students who failed to work were unhappy. That’s a life lesson that we’ve all learned. What happens to us is generally determined by our own actions.
That’s true regarding our eternal security. There are two options; either we have eternal security, or we don’t. The decision as to which we have is ours. It’s not by simply saying “yes please, I’ll have eternal life, thank you very much”. It’s by making a response to the action of someone else, that person being God.
God, in love for the human race, made a decision to save the human race from sin and its separation from him. It’s something we couldn’t do ourselves. Try it if you don’t believe me, see if you can remove your own sin. It’s as impossible as licking your own elbow! God’s decision required his own suffering, which occurred when God the Father sent his Son, Jesus, into the world to die for our sins. He endured the suffering for sin that is rightfully ours. There’s a wonderful verse in the Bible, John chapter 3, verse 16, which explains this.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
That’s the fact, and this is the decision we have to make. We have to believe that Jesus died for us. If we take this simple act of believing God gives us eternal life.
Does it sound too simple? Of course it does. Surely we have to do more than that? No we don’t. Believing is what God asks of us, but that believing isn’t just a mental assent, it’s an act of the heart. It’s a believing that makes us want to do something in return, a believing that says if Jesus gave up his life for me, I’ll use my life for him.
That’s a big decision. In fact, it’s the biggest decision we can ever make. It determines whether or not we have eternal security. There’s another verse in John’s gospel, chapter 3, verse 36 which says,
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”
That’s pretty clear isn’t it? Believe and we have eternal life. Choose not to believe and we don’t have eternal life. Worse than that we’ll have to face God’s wrath, his anger, which is fair when you think about it. He gave his Son to die for us, and we choose not to believe. Why wouldn’t he be angry?
How about we don’t make God angry. Let’s believe in his Son and have eternal life.